The Carolina Panthers announced Monday that they were granted a roster exemption for defensive end Frank Alexander, who was reinstated by the team following his second suspension for substance abuse.
The Panthers were also granted a seven-day roster exemption for Alexander.
Alexander sat out the first four games of this season for his first substance abuse violation and had 10 games tacked on for a second violation just before he was scheduled to return in early October.
According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, Alexander said he will practice on Wednesday. The defensive end apologized to fans and teammates.
Last season, Alexander played 12 games—starting three—and had 15 tackles, a sack and two passes defended. He has 3.5 career sacks since being drafted out of Oklahoma by the Panthers in the fourth round in 2012.
Without Alexander and defensive end Greg Hardy, who has been on the exempt list since September as he appeals domestic violence charges, the Panthers have 31 quarterback sacks this season after finishing with 60 a season ago, when they were 12-4 and won the division title.
The Panthers are 5-8-1 on the season and host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
- Phil Watson